Yes, it is just 'stuff', and trust me when I was finally reunited with Lucy in a parking lot on the corner of State and Las Positas yesterday afternoon, flames screaming towards the sky behind us, I didn't need telling what the most important things were.
However, having been evacuated from our home twice in the last six months (and we pay a premium to live here - are we fucking insane?) I can say that there's stuff and there's stuff. Toothbrush, passports, birth certificates etc are all fine but when you're lying in a friends bed wondering if your house is on fire, that's when you go 'oh crap, I wish I'd packed that photo of my Dad and brother instead of all of Anna's pairs of pink shoes'.
My assistant lost her house in the fires yesterday. When we spoke yesterday afternoon before we both bolted from work she gave me the best piece of advice I've ever received about being evacuated in a hurry:
Pack your laundry basket. Don't stand in front of your wardrobe wasting valuable time looking for that pair of pin-striped work trousers, and that top you always wear them with, which necessitates that bra and those shoes. Get a black bin bag and tip your entire washing basket in there. Those are the clothes you wear all the time and the clothes you will miss the most.
Unfortunately her fiance had to run to get out of his house before it burnt and they lost everything.
Other good advice? Don't drive over the speed limit, on your cell phone, looking at the fire, eyes blinded by tears because the fucking Sheriff has blocked the road to your daughter's preschool and then swear at the police do an exaggerated one-handed u-turn and try and remember a sneaky back roads route to Hollister - because that's exactly what everyone else is doing and you need to pay attention to them because they are surely going to kill you a lot faster than that fire.